The Marriage Rate

The Courage Campaign, FDL, and San Jose Mercury News live-blogged day seven of the Prop 8 trial. Live-tweets here. Margaret Talbot dismantles the pernicious work of Stanley Kurtz, which "purportedly showed a connection between the legalization of same-sex marriage or partnership in Scandinavian countries and a decline in the heterosexual marriage rate":

[T]here’s no doubt that the rates of marriage have been falling throughout the Western world. Meanwhile, the age at first marriage has gone up, as have the rates of cohabitation and and out-of-wedlock child bearing. But all of these are trends that long precede the legalization of single-sex marriage, and that generally hold as true for countries without legalized same-sex marriage or the equivalent as they do for those with it. As statistics from, for example, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.) show, the marriage rate has been declining in almost all E.U. countries since 1970. And in fact, according to a 2008 O.E.C.D. report, the pace of decline has actually slowed since the nineteen-nineties, “and the downward trend” nearly “come to a halt in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, the Slovak republic, and Sweden.”